Homemade meal replacement shakes

10 Easy & Healthy Homemade Meal Replacement Shakes

With our busy lifestyles where we tried to balanced health, fitness, work, and social life to the max, diet and nutrition is often an area we skip on. Take-aways, ready meals, lunch deals, protein shakes… are part of our daily routine. But what if there was a healthier alternative. Easy to make homemade meal replacement shakes can provide you with a balanced meal that’s convenient and affordable.

In fact, there are many meal replacement brands out there that offer you premade meal replacement powders with all the essential fats, carbs, fiber and protein that you need. However, the best meal shakes can be expensive, and there’s no reason why you cannot make a homemade meal replacement shake as good or even better.

Therefore, in this article, I will share with you my 10 favorite homemade meal replacement recipes, and I will share with you the trick to how to make a meal replacement shake that’s both healthy and tasty.

Things to Consider for DIY Meal Replacement Shakes

So before making a homemade meal replacement shake, you need to know what you should put on it. Ideally you need the following:

  • A source of complex carbs
  • Source of complete protein
  • Healthy fats
  • Multivitamins
  • Fruits/vegetables (optional for extra health boost)
  • Omega-3s (optional)
  • Flavoring (chocolate, vanilla, fruits)

You will also need to have a rough idea of how many calories you will want in your shake.

1. Source of Complete Protein

A complete protein contains all the essential amino acids – those that you can only acquire through diet – in high quantities.

Whey protein, milk protein, and casein are among the most popular choices for vegetarians. However, if you follow a plant-based diet soy protein is the most common complete protein source. Otherwise, you will have to pair pea and rice protein, or buy pre-mixed complete proteins, like Wondershake.

Where to buy? The easiest place to buy protein is from trusted nutrition supplement companies like MyProtein, ProteinWorks, Naked etc. They will have the best prices, as well as different protein options to choose from.

2. Complex Carbohydrates and/or Fiber

For most homemade meal replacement shakes, the base or the bulk of the calories will come from carbohydrates, unless you are doing a keto meal shake. Carbohydrates will allow you to easily adjust the calories of the shake, and are the body’s preferred source of energy.

For a healthy meal replacement shake that is low in sugar, and doesn’t cause a blood sugar spike, I would recommend using oats (oat flour, oat powder) as the primary source. This is preferred to maltodextrin, which despite being a complex carb, has a high glycemic index (your body converts it into sugar fast). That said, if you are likely to do sports, or are a very active person, maltodextrin can be a good choice for you.

In case you don’t like oats, you can also use milk, bananas, or other grains.

Where to buy? You can use supermarket oats, or buy finely grated oats in Costco, Wallmart and most big retail stores. Supplement companies also sell oats and maltodextrin.

3. Healthy Fats

There are many kinds of fats (saturated, unsaturated, omega-3s, MCTs…), but it’s important to opt for a fat source that’s low in saturated fats.

Popular choices to make meal replacement shakes at home include peanut butter (or almond), butter, olive oil, or heavy cream. Be careful on how much you add, as fats are more calorie dense than the other macronutrients.

Preferably, you would also add a source of omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient American’s are deficient on but has key roles in our metabolism. It has anti-inflammatory properties that boost your immune system and cognitive performance, among many other health benefits. The easiest way to consume is buying an omega-3 supplement and taking it with the shake (not mixed, as it will heavily impact the taste).

4. Micronutrients

Adding micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) is quite easy, as there are many multivitamin supplements in the market. I would recommend not mixing the multivitamin (if you have powder) with the meal replacement shake, as it can alter the taste.

Instead, buying a top quality multivitamin like Performance Lab’s will provide you all you need in a daily basis in 2 easy capsules to swallow. Needless to say, there’s tons of good options out there.

5. Phytonutrients and Pro-biotics (optional)

However, in recent years the importance of non-essential nutrients like phytonutrients and pro-biotics has risen.

As we discover more about nutrition, we are starting to understand the importance of antioxidants, polyphenols, anti-inflammatory agents found in fruits and vegetables in our mechanisms. They help our body function properly, enhance our immune system, help our gut, keep us in a good state of mind…

Similarly, the gut-brain axis controls our mind, mood and health. Inbalances in our gut microbiome (bacteria) can cause anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

Where to get? Adding leafy greens or fruits like berries can increase your phytonutrient intake noticeably. Yogurts and fermented products are a good way to get probiotics. Alternatively, the best green powders are an easy way to put all those healthy benefits in your homemade meal replacement shake.

DIY Meal Replacement Shake Recipes

Let’s start with basic homemade meal replacement shakes that you can make easily at home. It is worth mentioning that a blender would be very helpful.

Basic Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake

Basic, simple, but balanced nutrition.

  • 1 Scoop of protein of choice (vanilla or chocolate preferably)
  • 150ml of milk (oz)
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil or peanut butter
  • 50g of oats
  • 2 tbsp of cacao powder

Use a blender to blend it all together. Keeping the oats soaked in milk overnight can help the flavour too.

Classic Peanut Butter Banana Shake


  • Calories: Approximately 350-400
  • Protein: 20-25 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 35-40 grams


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop of protein powder
  • Ice cubes (optional)

Green Spinach and Berry Smoothie

Great vitamin, mineral and antioxidant boost.

  • Calories: Approximately 300-350
  • Protein: 15-20 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 40-45 grams


  • 1 cup of spinach leaves (kale or similar leafy greens can work)
  • 1/2 cup of mixed berries (e.g., strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop of protein powder

Chocolate Avocado Shake

Good for healthy fats.

  • Calories: Approximately 400-450
  • Protein: 20-25 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 30-35 grams


  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or a sweetener of your choice

Oatmeal and Blueberry Shake

Best pre-workout homemade meal replacement shake.

  • Calories: Approximately 400-450
  • Protein: 15-20 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 50-55 grams


  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop of protein powder

Add fiber and chia seeds, and make this homemade meal shake your gut’s favorite.

Tropical Coconut Mango Shake

  • Calories: Approximately 350-400
  • Protein: 15-20 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 45-50 grams


  • 1/2 cup of frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Let’s look at more advanced homemade meal replacement recipes that you can make in bulk (powder) and then prepare them in an instant later on.

Note: you can find many of this DIY recipes and more in Completefoods.co

Affordable DIY Meal Replacement Shake

A day’s worth of food, for under $5!

AmountVolumeIngredient$ / day
200g2cupsOat Flour$1.47
10.5g2tbspAcacia Fiber$0.31
6g2tspPsyllium Husk Powder$0.09
3.2g½tspIodized Salt$0.01
1.1g¼tspPotassium Citrate$0.07
1.1g¼tspCholine Bitartrate$0.04
0.4g¼tspStevia Powder$0.06
0.3gtspXanthan Gum$0.01
1g1capsuleOne Daily Superfood Multivitamin$0.32
1900ml8cupsWhole Milk$1.68

Most of these ingredients can be found on Amazon. You can easily add flavor with some cacao powder, cinnamon, peanut butter, or some zero calorie syrups.

Homemade Keto Meal Replacement Shake

The best low carb homemade meal replacement shake.

AmountIngredient$ / day
110gDymatize Nutrition Elite (Rich Chocolate)$2.72
16gAcacia Gum (Fiber)$0.49
6gPotassium Citrate$0.18
5gNOW Cal/Mag/D3 powder$0.13
2gCalcium Phosphate$0.05
2gCholine L-Bitartrate$0.11
4gXanthan Gum$0.15
1pillNow Foods MK-7 Vitamin K-2$0.21
1pillKirkland Signature Daily Multi$0.03
383mlHeavy Whipping Cream (USDA values)$1.90
2pillNOW Ultra Omega 3 Fish Oil$0.23
0mlMCT Oil (optional)$0.00
30gPeanut Flour Light Roast 28% (optional 30g)$0.95

High Protein Shake Meal Replacement Recipe

Looking for a high calorie high protein meal replacement shake to fuel your workouts? Load up with this high protein meal replacement shake.


  • 2 scoops of protein
  • Milk of choice
  • 1 tbsp Peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp psyllium fiber
  • 20g of maltodextrin
  • 0.5g of choline bitartrate
  • Multivitamin powder

You can add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or chocolate ice-cream if you want to bump your calorie intake. Each shake contains about 50g of protein.

Homemade Meal Replacement Shakes vs Commercial Meal Replacement Shakes

Ultimately, as discussed earlier, there are many already made meal replacement powders that are easily available. They will offer you a more convenient, and perhaps cheaper alternative to doing homemade meal replacement shakes.

Even more, you will easily find gluten free shakes or meal replacements that fit your dietary needs (low sugar, keto, nut free, dairy free etc).

On top of that, because the powder has been pre-mixed and tested, they are often better tasting than what you can do at home.

These shakes don’t even require a blender, which makes it even easier to clean.

Homemade Meal ReplacementCommercial Brands
Pros– Flexibility
– Cheaper when made in bulk
– Adapt to dietary needs
– Tons of brands to choose from
– Premium brands have extra ingredients that are hard to source
– Deliciuos flavors
– More convenient
– Doesn’t require mixing and measuring ingredients
Cons– Not as tasty
– Don’t mix as well, often need a blender
– Usually more expensive
– Less flavor options
– Can be hard to find a brand you like
– They can change the recipe

Conclusion – How to Make a Meal Replacement Shake

Making a meal replacement shake at home is not that hard. Plus, if you find the right recipe that works for you, it can be a health boosting habit that will save you time and money.

In order to make the perfect DIY meal replacement shake you will require a carbohydrate source (oats), fats (olive oil, cream, nut butter), protein (protein powder), and a multivitamin mix. For extra points you can add fruits, vegetables, green powders and omega-3 fatty acids.

However, if you don’t want to buy ingredients separately or having to mix them, I recommend buying commercial meal replacement shakes.

For those looking for a premium blend that will cover all the essentials and more, Lyfefuel Daily Essentials will be your choice.

For the more budget conscious, Complete 360 Meal will be a good affordable option.

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